The Gist: How you feel about how you look matters in many aspects of our lives.
“Beauty is only skin deep,” as the saying goes, but how does beauty and our sense of attractiveness play into our day to day lives?
We’ve been asking folks about how they feel about their physical appearance since 2015. We know there’s a connection between height, education, and salary, but what about looks? If a person thinks they’re more attractive than average, is there an advantage?
So, what’s life like for people who consider themselves more physically attractive than average?
Health and Fitness
Perhaps least surprisingly, people who consider themselves attractive are more likely to engage in healthy behaviors. They’re more likely to value health and fitness overall, take vitamins and nutritional supplements, own a fitness tracker, exercise and read the nutritional information on their groceries.
Regarding food and dining, they’re most likely to eat at upscale restaurants and buy organic food. They are more likely to drink alcohol and are regular coffee drinkers.
An unexpected health behavior? People who consider themselves more attractive are more likely to be smokers.
In terms of mental health, the way you perceive your outside certainly seems to reflect the way you feel inside.
People who consider themselves attractive are more likely to say they feel happy. People who think they’re less physically attractive than average are twice as likely, compared to attractive people, to say they feel unhappy.
Finances & Employment
When it comes to money, it seems that looks (or thinking you look good) pay. People who believe themselves to be more physically attractive than average are more likely to earn $100k+ per year. This income disparity is likely because people who consider themselves more attractive then average are much more likely to hold an executive role at their current company.
In this case, it might be a question of which comes first: the title or the perception of looks?
They self-report that they manage their money very well, and consider themselves to be diligent savers. They’re not just watching personal finances, but economic trends as well.
Maybe decisiveness plays into financial success.
While they may watch their finances, they’re less likely to compare prices before buying a product. Unsurprisingly, they are not price-conscious when it comes to health and beauty products.
People who consider themselves more physically attractive are more likely to follow professional sports, including the NBA, NHL, and NFL, as well as college basketball and football. They’re more likely to go to the movies at least once a month and use Netflix.
When it comes to television trends, they’re more likely to be fans of TV news.
If we’re thinking superficially, it’s no shock that this group is more likely to use Instagram over other social networks. While they might be scrolling through their Instagram feed more often than average, they’re also doing some good–people who consider themselves attractive are more likely to volunteer at least once a month and donate to charitable causes.
So there’s more truth than we thought to the idea of if you look good, you feel good. Beauty is subjective, but it seems our vision of self-esteem has clear implications in other aspects of our lives.